Iconic Las Vegas Strip Casino Makes a Big Retro Change

Sin City has become an adult playground. One major casino operator wants to take some of the sin out of the city.

Few people put Las Vegas on their list for family vacations. 

Sin City does have a lot of signs telling people to not abandon their kids, but it has few activities or events actually aimed at anyone under 21.

Yes, you might see Mickey and Minnie Mouse or even Paw Patrol characters posing for pictures on the Las Vegas Strip, but those characters are often right next to barely-clad showgirls, female police officers, and shirtless male firefighters. 

There might be a few kid-friendly figures, but they’re operating in a decidedly adult setting, which is often enveloped by the distinct odor of marijuana from the more-than-a-few tourists who indulged or are actively indulging. 

You won’t confuse Las Vegas with Walt Disney’s (DIS) – Get The Walt Disney Company Report Disney World or even a state fair that mixes family-friendly activities with beer gardens and other adult indulgences, 

When you walk the Las Vegas Strip, you’re bombarded with images aimed at grownups. You’ll walk by casinos in which nobody under age 21 can enter the gaming floor, as well as day clubs, nightclubs, and even a few boutique hotel/casinos that fully ban anyone under 21.

That has not always been the case in Las Vegas. There was a period in the 1990s when the city tried to become a family destination. The idea was that the day could be filled with family activities, leaving the night for gambling and more adult pursuits.

It was a failed idea, but one relic of that era remains, and its owner wants to be a Las Vegas Strip oasis for families. 

Image source: Circus Circus Hotel

Circus Circus Doubles Down on Family Fun

Circus Circus sits on the North Las Vegas Strip, an area undergoing a massive revitalization with the launch of Resorts World Las Vegas, the 2023 planned opening of Fontainebleau, and a variety of other projects being under construction.

And while it’s a modest move by Las Vegas standards, Circus Circus is undergoing a $30 million renovation that began during the pandemic, The goal is to “bring back some of the glory days and really try to capture an all-inclusive experience,” Circus Circus Senior Vice President Shana Gerety said in June.

Now, some details of what the property will add to further that mission have emerged.

Circus Circus Brings In More Rides

Billing itself as “Las Vegas’ most family-friendly resort,” Circus Circus has built on that claim by adding “new and upgraded kiddie rides, including Twistin Tea Cups, Go Karts, and Kiddie Swings at the Adventuredome ahead of the Labor Day Weekend,” according to a news release.

The resort/casino’s Adventuredome indoor amusement park already has the Canyon Blaster, El Loco rollercoasters, NebulaZ, Sand Pirate, Inverter, a rock-climbing wall, and an 18-hole miniature golf course, among other attractions.

Circus Circus also offers live circus acts, both in family-friendly locations and on its 101,000-square-foot casino floor.

While it’s an older, budget-friendly property that’s not as glitzy as the Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report and MGM Resorts (MGM) – Get MGM Resorts International Report properties that dominate the Las Vegas Strip, Circus Circus has spotted a niche. It’s the only property that targets families. 

And while families are unlikely to flock to Las Vegas, some people might find the idea of bringing their kids along on a business trip worthwhile.

MGM’s Mandalay Bay has a sort of family-friendly beach/pool area, but the company does not broadly market to that audience. Caesars doesn’t really address kids and its properties aren’t very family-friendly.

It’s a retro move by Circus Circus as the city as a whole has stopped marketing itself as anything other than an adult playground. 

There might, however, be enough demand for one property to serve a different audience that’s largely, and intentionally, being ignored by the biggest players. 

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